Episcopal Church resources for exploring a holy Lent

By ENS staff
Posted Feb 2, 2016

[Episcopal News Service] The season of Lent, the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, begins Feb. 10 this year, and across the Episcopal Church there are a number of devotional resources to help Episcopalians observe a holy Lent.

Below are links to information about resources that ENS has received to date. Additional resources, including the presiding bishop’s Lenten message will be available in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent.

A video for inviting people to Ash Wednesday liturgies
While not exactly a devotional tool, this free customizable 1-minute video from the Acts 8 Movement can help congregations use their social media presence to invite their communities to Ash Wednesday. Both English and Spanish versions contain subtitles which make engagement easier for people who may be scrolling quickly through feeds.

The video can run as it stands or people with basic video-editing skills can customize it for individual parishes. On her blog Churchwork, Nurya Love Parish provides a tutorial for customizing the video using iMovie and then using it to create a Facebook ad.  An Instagram version is also available.

Click here for more information and links to different versions of the video in English and in Spanish.

The group plans to release an Easter video as well.

The Acts 8 Movement is a volunteer group of lay and clergy Episcopalians whose mission is to proclaim resurrection in the Episcopal Church. The group formed at General Convention in 2012 and has been active in carrying out their mission in various ways since then.

Meditations on the theme of Go!
Daily reflections on a Scripture verse containing the word “Go!,” prepared by many authors including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, other bishops, Episcopal Church staff and members of United Thank Offering, Episcopal Migration Ministries, National Association of Episcopal Schools and Episcopal Relief & Development, will be will be available on the Episcopal Church’s website here and on Facebook here.

Reflecting on racial reconciliation
Both the Episcopal Public Policy Network and the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult and Campus Ministries are offering reflections on racial reconciliation for Lent.

The Episcopal Public Policy Network Lenten series on the beloved community and racial reconciliation will be found here starting Ash Wednesday.

Young Adult and Campus Ministries’ reflections will be here.

Episcopal Church-sponsored group offers daily “Journey to the Cross” devotions
d365, a daily devotional site produced by Passport, Inc. for young people funded through individual gifts and the support of three denominational sponsors – Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Presbyterian Mission Agency, and the Episcopal Church – is offering Lenten devotions online here. The devotions have five parts: pause, listen, think, pray and go. The devotions are also available via Facebook, Twitter via @d365 and via an iPhone app.

Sharing your experiences
Episcopalians are invited to share photos of congregations and individuals focusing on Ash Wednesday and Lent. Submit your photos to the Episcopal Church’s website via this link.

House of Bishops offers Lenten meditations on ‘economic imagination’
This Lent, the theology committee of the House of Bishops invites the church to explore ways to recover and renew economic imagination with a new resource, Repairing the Breach: Discipleship and Mission in a Global Economy.

Produced in partnership with Forward Movement, Repairing the Breach provides daily meditations and videos during the season of Lent. The meditations move through a pattern of reading, watching, reflecting, and praying, and each week of Lent is devoted to a particular aspect of economic life.

The reflections examine the causes of economic injustice and our role, both personally and corporately, in unsustainable patterns of consumption and self-interest. The project also highlights specific practices where the Spirit of God is moving in local congregations and communities to bring new life.

Visit repairingthebreach.forwardmovement.org to learn more, register to receive daily meditations and watch for the first meditation on Ash Wednesday. A print-friendly downloadable PDF of the reflections is also available for download here.

‘Walk the Path of Lent’ with Episcopal Relief & Development’s 2016 Lenten meditations
Episcopal Relief & Development invites supporters to “Walk the Path of Lent” with this year’s Lenten Meditations series, featuring reflections on spiritual practices written by the organization’s staff, partners and friends from around the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

Program staff, disaster response volunteers, board members and others share the breadth of spiritual practices that give them strength for the journey.

Digital versions of the English and Spanish booklets are available online at episcopalrelief.org/Lent, and all are invited to sign up for daily email meditations.

Making a Lenten discipline of discussing racial equality
Trinity Institute and ChurchNext have teamed up to help Episcopalians go deeper with one of the most pressing issues of our time. Based on Trinity Institute’s 2016 conference, Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice, a complete Lenten curriculum is being offered including these presenters: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Kelly Brown Douglas, Jennifer Harvey and J. Kameron

Each course is free during Lent 2016.

The first of five courses: Spirituality and Racial Equality with Michael Curry, is available in two formats, for individuals and for groups. The second course, Whiteness and Racial Justice with Kelly Brown Douglas, is also available, for individuals and for groups.

The other three courses in the series will launch on Feb. 7. Their titles are: Reparation and Racial Justice with Jennifer Harvey, Theology and Racial Justice with J. Kameron Carter, and Racism and Racial Justice with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.

Curry has made racial reconciliation one of the priorities of his ministry as presiding bishop.  He has said, “The choice is ours: chaos or community. That work is the work of finding ways for people to come together to really create and be what Dr. King called the ‘beloved community.’ That’s not just some Utopian ideal. That, frankly, is the difference between life and death for the world.”

A preview of Curry’s class is here.

Trinity Institute is an annual conference in its 45th year that presents emerging and inclusive theological and social perspectives and engages participants in inquiry, dialogue, and reflection. Participants from all faith perspectives are welcomed. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City.

Some helpful tips for using the curriculum are here.

Growing a rule of life with the Society of St. John Evangelist
The Society of St. John Evangelist and Virginia Theological Seminary have designed Growing a Rule of Life for individuals or small groups. It uses a tool from monastic spirituality called a “rule of life” to explore and cultivate our relationships with God, self, others and creation.

VTS’ Lisa Kimball’s video invitation to use Growing a Rule of Life is here.

The series includes daily videos and reflections along with a corresponding workbook which can be purchased for $3 each or $20 for 10 at Amazon. To subscribe to a daily morning email with a short video and download a PDF of the accompanying workbook click here.

Explore Lent through life in the West Bank and Gaza
The Rev. Diane Dulin has written a series of meditations for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship based on the lectionary readings for each of the six Sundays of Lent. They are offered, writes Dulin, “to those who live under the yoke of oppression in Palestine and those who work tirelessly for justice and refuse to give up.”

The reflections can be used in worship, study groups, organizational meetings and individual time. These reflections delve deeply into the occupied villages and besieged cities of the West Bank and the agony of Gaza, and the struggle for equality, dignity and freedom on the part of Palestinians. The stories found there will inspire readers “for the ongoing struggle for equality in our own society and for freedom from fear and want across the world in these increasingly urgent times,” the group says.

Dulin’s meditations can be found by clicking here.

Get your 2016 Saintly Scorecard, a guide for Lent Madness
Inspired by college basketball tournaments, Lent Madness pits 32 saints against each other in a bracket, as each saint seeks to win the coveted Golden Halo. This indispensable guide includes biographies of the 32 saints vying for the golden halo, tips on how to use Lent Madness as a tool for formation, a handy fold-out bracket with all the pairings, and Saintly Sprinkles recipes for saints-related sweet treats and tasty breads.

New this year are Pocket Lent Cards of previous Golden Halo winners with key vital stats.
The 2016 Saintly Scorecard is available now, with a cover price of $3. Bookstore and bulk orders receive additional discounts. To order, call 1-800-543-1813 or visit www.forwardmovement.org. Ebook is available on Kindle, Nook, and iBook.

Lent Madness was initiated by Episcopal priest Tim Schenck in 2010 and found its home at Forward Movement in 2012. Lent Madness engages thousands of people each season of Lent as they learn together about the lives of amazing men and women – and have a lot of fun!

Protect the environment with a candlelit dinner during Lent
Anglicans and other Christians are being challenged to enjoy a candlelit dinner as part of a series of challenges for a “carbon fast” during Lent. The initiative comes from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and is being supported by the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network (ACEN).

For Anglicans, Roman Catholics and many others, “Lent is the time when we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing challenge and temptation,” the Southern Africa environmental group Green Anglicans, says. “It is a time when we reflect on God’s purpose for our life. This year we challenge you to take a carbon fast – to reduce the actions which damage God’s creation.”

The Carbon Fast for Lent crib sheet can be downloaded from the Green Anglicans’ website.

Fourteen-year-old partners with Forward Movement to develop app for Lent
Jack Whittaker has been programming since he was nine years old and his latest project is a new app for Lent from Forward Movement.

The app, Journey Through Lent 2016, brings Forward Movement’s popular Join the Journey Through Lent daily coloring calendar to the digital world. The app provides daily images and reflections illustrated by award-winning cartoonist Jay Sidebotham, offered alongside daily Eucharistic gospel readings, a space for journaling, and the option to add color and share your images.

“Jack approached us about building a Lent app based on work he had done previously. He is a talented programmer and he was a delight to work with,” says the Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement.

The Journey Through Lent 2016 app is available now in the app store for $1.99 for iPhone or iPad. To learn more or download, click here.


Comments (3)

  1. Anne Lynn says:

    Lent is the perfect time to connect our faith journey with the land where Jesus experienced those 40 days — our Holy Land. American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem offers mite boxes, bulletin inserts and other Lenten resources, all free, either through our website or by requesting them. http://www.afedj.org, aklynn@afedj.org

  2. Grow Christians is a new website building community and sharing stories among disciples practicing faith at home. Reflections, recipes and more will be posted throughout Lent. There is a special focus on families practicing faith together. Sponsored by Forward Movement and Plainsong Farm, Grow Christians can be found at http://www.growchristians.org.

  3. Charlotte Hand Greeson says:

    It’s unfortunate that your list of resources doesn’t include any tools to help families with young children observe the season of Lent.

    We recommend Candle Press’ 5 Weeks of “Lent Our Way” – free & downloadable – as way to learn about and discover how to keep a holy Lent.

    Another option might be creating a sacred prayer space in your home during the season of Lent. Emily Watkins writes about it at Building Faith, here:

    Finally, the Diocese of Ohio has produced a syllabus for children so that they might join their family in Growing a Rule of Life from SSJE.

    Blessings in this holy season.

    Charlotte Hand Greeson & Matthew Kozlowski, editors buildfaith.org

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